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“The Hourglass ”

Written on: 10/02/2007 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

The Hourglass

Barbara Metzger

Signet, Mar 2007, $6.99

ISBN: 045122079X

He knows he committed atrocities while fighting in the name of God during what foolish mankind called the Crusades. However, his eternal punishment is to be a Death collector, a minion of the Grim Reaper. Unlike most, if not all, of his peers, Ar Death remembers when he was Sir Coryn of Ardsley filled with a heart and soul. He could plead with his superior Sir Grimness to relieve him of duty as he believes he is a victim of battle fatigue, but that means ending up as a permanent resident of an even worse place, Hell. Still, his only hope for salvation lies with gambling with His Eminence the Devil. The deal is simple: six months on Earth to find his missing humanity and freedom or more likely failure and eternity as one of the Devil's minions.

Imogene "Genie" Macklin tends to the wounded at Waterloo while pondering her future as an undesirable, destitute, pregnant soldier's widow though her preference is to not think at all. Also healing the cannon fodder is Coryn, claiming to be an Earl, as he rips into haughty aristocratic Major Willeford. Genie and Coryn meet over a dying soldier and he realizes she is a lady of quality who could enhance his lies. When he proposes she accepts because she must think of her baby. Though they fall in love with one another, the sands in his HOURGLASS are slipping into a future of eternal condemnation if he fails to find his humanity.

This paranormal romance grips the audience from the opening gamble until the final confrontation with Ar's former boss. The storyline is fast-paced and filled with action yet most critical to this enjoyable, supernatural historical is the belief in Hell, the Grim Reaper, and the soul as described by Barbara Metzger. Romance fans who appreciate a devilishly different type of Regency will want to read this delightful second chance at life tale.

Harriet Klausner

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